The last time we saw Scott Shafer, Syracuse football players carried him off the Carrier Dome field in celebration. The Orange had just secured a thrilling final-second victory over Boston College to end the 2015 season.
The end of that game would also wind up being the end of Shafer’s SU career.
Shafer’s career at Syracuse began in 2013 with the Orange adjusting nicely to its new home in the ACC. SU went 7-6 that year and went on to win the Texas Bowl.
Then things went downhill. Syracuse went 3-9 in 2014 and 4-8 in 2015. Some people began questioning Shafer’s coaching strategy. When looking for answers, some people thought Shafer’s comments began making little sense.
Exit: Scott Shafer
Enter: Dino Babers
Now, nearly two years later, Shafer returns to Syracuse. But this time he is on the other side of the gridiron.
Syracuse will play Middle Tennessee for the first time in history on Saturday, the team where Shafer now serves as the defensive coordinator.
Shafer returns in the midst of a new era of Syracuse football, characterized by an Orange-is-the-New-Fast offensive scheme and a charismatic leader in Dino Babers. Change since Shafer’s time at the helm is clearly visible.
This is the season where Babers said he expects his team to settle into a fine-tuned machine. As Syracuse football continues to move toward the future, maybe it’s fitting to have one last hint of the past.
Published: David Edelstein